GSK has today beaten analyst expectations for its first-quarter results and stood by its forecasts for 2022 on the back of robust uptake of its drugs.

This comes ahead of the planned listing of its large consumer healthcare division in July.

The spin out of the consumer venture with Pfizer, christened Haleon, has put GSK's future in focus as chief executive Emma Walmsley faces pressure from activist investor Elliot to shore up its pipeline.

This month, GSK agreed to pay $1.9 billion to buy Sierra Oncology.

GSK's adjusted earnings stood at 32.8 pence per share for the three months to March 31, while turnover rose 32% to £9.78 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of 30 pence per share on revenues of £9.15 billion, a company-compiled consensus showed.

Sales from its Covid-19 antibody treatment stood at £1.3 billion in the quarter, ahead of analysts' expectations of £1.1 billion.

Although GSK's Xevudy, known chemically as sotrovimab, was shown to have worked against the Omicron variant, recent data suggested it was unlikely effective against the BA 2 subvariant dominant in the US, the treatment's biggest buyer.

The London-listed company, which rejected Unilever's £50 billion bid for its consumer unit in December, said the division was expected to post annual organic revenue growth of 4%-6%.